While the sun stretches out her time above the horizon, thousands of beach lovers travel from far and wide to spend their vacation enjoying the bustling energy of the summer season along the pristine coast of Southern Delaware. When the summer crowds return home and the sun begins to dip earlier each evening, showing off its deeper fall hues, the locals and long-time visitors begin to whisper about the“second-season” like a hidden treasure. What some call the “off-season,” others call the best time of the year—the beauty without the bustle.
Good news travels fast and, with each new year, the second season welcomes all back to the beach even after the swimsuits and board shorts have been packed away.
In the air, there’s a feeling of…festivals. The new year along the Southern Delaware Coast kicks off with the 2023 Fire and Ice Festival: “Lights, Camera, Action!” taking place on January 27-29, 2023. Experience the beach like you never have before with some movie magic at this Hollywood-themed event. Spend the weekend taking in 63,000 pounds of ice that have been transformed into masterfully crafted sculptures. Enjoy other winter festivities, including bonfires, live music, outdoor movies, and more. Visitors and locals alike buzz over the local Tasting Tour, Drink Competitions, and warm up with the comfort of an old-fashioned Chili Cookoff. Local businesses and towns join to extend the joy of the holiday season with something for everyone. It all caps off with a firework show that rivals the Fourth of July.
Before you know it, the morning light starts peeking in earlier and lingering later every day to see what it’s been missing. Spring puts on a show for those who love wildlife; and fishermen and foodies together all eagerly await the first catches of the season. For those who are ready to get back outside after staying cozy indoors over the winter months, the award-winning 34th Annual Ocean to Bay Bike Tour is our early kickoff for the season. Taking place on the last weekend in April, riders of all experience levels can participate in any of the cycling tours that cover over 180 miles of Sussex County’s beautiful beaches, bays, and beyond.
Come back and continue to explore; endless opportunities abound. Stay for“Locals Summer,” which begins the week after Labor Day with our 45th Annual Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival featuring 100 juried artists. Wind along sandy trails through black pines. Kayak along the banks of the canals, bay, and shorelines or spend the day fishing, surfing, or finally fitting in that round of golf. If it is retail therapy you need, shop tax-free among many unique boutiques, galleries, and local specialty shops. There is something sweet about taking in the salty sea air while doing the things you love. And whether you prefer salty, sweet, or savory, there are hundreds of restaurants to choose from. The Culinary Coast TM is brimming with a variety of spectacular dining; boasting award-winning chefs, farm-to-table dishes, and mouth-watering seafood. The length of days might change from summer to winter, but the truth is that time doesn’t fly so fast when you realize the places you love to visit in the summer season are full of hidden gems year-round, with the beach as the backdrop.